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How to craft the best Product Manager Scorecard Template for Top-notch recruitment?

Ulysse Wolff
January 9, 2024
Remote Works

H2 - What should you look for in a Product Manager candidate?

What is a Product Manager?

A Product Manager is a person who identifies the customer needs behind a product and is in charge of the success of the business objectives associated. But what does it mean exactly, in terms of role and responsibilities? Here are the 4 main responsibilities of a Product Manager:

  • Definition of the product strategy: A Product Manager is responsible for developing the product vision and strategy by understanding the customer needs and the competitive landscape.
  • Design of the product roadmap: A Product Manager is in charge of defining the roadmap of product features, prioritized based on business goals and customer feedback.
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: A Product Manager collaborates with other departments, including development, marketing, sales, and customer support to ensure successful product launches
  • Stakeholder Communication: A Product Manager is in charge of communicating information related to product updates, strategy, and performance to internal and external stakeholders.

Finding a good Product Manager is essential for the success of your products and then the success of your company. But it’s easier said than done. Let’s look at the key elements to take into consideration to find the right person for your company.

How to spot a strong Product Manager candidate in an interview?

Based on the tasks the Product Manager has to take responsibility for, here are the main areas you will try to evaluate:

  • Strategic thinking: The candidate should be capable of developing an entire product strategy to ensure successful launch.
  • Market understanding: A strong candidate should be able to understand customer needs and competitors to design a relevant product.
  • Project Management skills: A good candidate should demonstrate the ability to oversee the entire product development lifecycle, to ensure timely delivery of the product.
  • Communication skills: A Product Manager candidate should be able to show exceptional communication skills and adjust his/her communication to be understandable by non-technical stakeholders .

All that is great, but now let’s build this Product Manager Scorecard template!

How to build a Product Manager Scorecard Template?

Why use a Product Manager scorecard template? 

Before starting to think about how to build a Product Manager scorecard template, you might want to know why you would do it, right? So here is a recap of the benefits associated:

  • Standardize the interview process: A scorecard template is easily shared, which allows you to have similar interviews with all the candidates. With a scorecard template, every interviewer knows exactly which areas he/she needs to evaluate, or even the exact questions he/she needs to ask! 
  • Guarantee fair conditions to interviewees: The main advantage of using a scorecard template is that it allows you to make an objective decision about the candidate. You attribute a score to each area/question evaluated and compare the candidates based on the total score calculated! You no longer need to hesitate for hours to finally make a choice!
  • Stay organized: A scorecard template is generally on one sheet of paper (physical or digital). It means you have a vision on all the areas/questions you have to evaluate in a single glance. And I can tell you it really makes a difference. But if you’re not convinced, you’ll be soon!
  • Keep a record of the interview: Having a scorecard template allows you to quickly go back to a candidate’s performance, if you need to confirm or justify a decision. You can also use Claap to have the actual recording of your meeting, with the automatic transcription of the video!

Crafting your Product Manager scorecard template step by step 

To create your Product Manager scorecard template the first thing you need is … a scorecard template! Makes sense, right? And I’ve already created 2 great scorecard templates for you so I’d recommend taking advantage of it. You can find them here.

But this is not a Product Manager scorecard template. To obtain one, you have 2 options. If you’ve chosen the general scorecard template (the one with the areas to evaluate), you just need to replace the areas to evaluate with the actual areas we defined earlier (Strategic thinking, Market understanding, Project management skills, Communication skills). Otherwise, you’ll need to find questions to ask. I’ve prepared a list to give you ideas.

38 Product Manager interview questions 

General questions:

  • Could you go through your resume and detail your background?
  • Give me a piece of feedback you’ve received from your previous employer.
  • What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside of your professional life?
  • Do you have any side projects or personal initiatives that you're currently working on?
  • What role does continuous learning play in your personal and professional development?
  • How do you see your personal values aligning with the culture and values of our organization?
  • What resources/tools do you use in your job?

Strategic thinking:

  • How do you go about developing and articulating a product strategy?
  • Can you share an example of a successful product strategy you developed in a previous role?
  • How do you align a product strategy with overall business goals and objectives?
  • Can you describe a situation where you had to adjust a product strategy due to changing market conditions?
  • How do you balance short-term goals with the long-term vision when crafting a product strategy?
  • How do you ensure that your product strategy remains flexible and adaptable to unforeseen challenges?
  • In your view, how does strategic thinking contribute to the overall success of a product?
  • What steps do you take to ensure that your product remains competitive in the market over the long term?

Market understanding:

  • How do you go about researching and understanding customer needs and preferences for a product?
  • Can you share an example of a time when your understanding of the target market significantly influenced a product's success?
  • How do you stay informed about industry trends and changes in the market landscape?
  • How do you assess and analyze the competitive landscape for your product?
  • In your opinion, what role does market segmentation play in tailoring products to specific customer groups?
  • How do you ensure that your product aligns with and addresses the real needs of the target audience?
  • Describe a situation where you successfully identified and capitalized on a market opportunity for a product.
  • Can you share an example of a time when you had to respond to a new entrant or disruptive force in the market?

Project management skills:

  • Can you walk me through your approach to managing the entire product development lifecycle from ideation to launch?
  • How do you create and maintain a realistic project timeline for product development?
  • Describe a situation where a project timeline was at risk. How did you address it, and what was the outcome?
  • What methodologies or frameworks (e.g., Agile, Scrum) are you familiar with, and how do you implement them in your projects?
  • How do you balance the need for speed with the importance of delivering a high-quality product?
  • Can you discuss a time when you had to reprioritize tasks or adjust the project plan to meet changing requirements?
  • What steps do you take to identify and mitigate potential risks that could impact project timelines?
  • How do you handle situations where there are conflicting priorities that could affect project timelines?

Communication skills:

  • How do you tailor your communication style when conveying project updates to different stakeholders, such as developers, marketers, or executives?
  • Describe your approach to ensuring effective communication between cross-functional teams during a complex project.
  • How do you handle conveying project updates to non-technical stakeholders?
  • What strategies do you employ to keep stakeholders informed about project progress without overwhelming them with details?
  • Can you provide an example of a time when you had to communicate a change in project plans to stakeholders? How did you manage it?
  • Describe a situation where you had to communicate a project delay or challenge. 
  • What steps do you take to ensure that project updates are delivered in a timely and organized manner?

Sample answers

  • How do you balance short-term goals with the long-term vision when crafting a product strategy?

Sample Answer: “I always keep an eye on the market to deliver quick wins and maintain customer satisfaction, which is my main short-term goal. Simultaneously, I ensure these short-term decisions align with our long-term vision. I reshape the strategic roadmap on a bi-monthly basis to keep the team aligned and ensure that short-term initiatives contribute to the realization of our broader goals.”

  • How do you go about researching and understanding customer needs and preferences for a product?

Sample Answer: “ To understand customer needs and preferences, I conduct comprehensive market research, analyze user feedback, and study customer behavior data. For that, I usually use surveys, interviews, and usability tests. I also engage directly with customers through forums and social media, as it allows me to understand their preferences and pain points, and adapt the products in the best way.”

  • How do you create and maintain a realistic project timeline for product development?

Sample Answer: ”The collaboration with other departments is key, to define clear and realistic project milestones and deliverables. To estimate the total time required, I break down the project into manageable tasks, estimating time requirements for each. During the project, I try to communicate as much as possible with the different stakeholders to adjust timelines based on progress and potential challenges.”

  • Describe your approach to ensuring effective communication between cross-functional teams during a complex project.

Sample Answer:”At the beginning of the project, I establish clear channels for communication and designate key points of contact within each team. Then I schedule regular status meetings to facilitate open communication regarding project progress, challenges, and milestones. Leveraging collaborative tools and platforms also facilitates seamless communication, contributing to the overall success of the project.”

Why is Claap the most complementary tool to your Product Manager scorecard template?

Claap is an audio and video transcription tool that further optimizes your interview process. And this was precisely the goal of using a scorecard template in the first place, right? Yes, I know it’s amazing, but you haven’t seen anything yet!

Claap provides an explanation for your scores

When using a scorecard template, you score candidates based on how you perceive their performance. But what if somebody challenges the scores you assigned? Will you be able to remember all the reasons behind the grades assigned? 

Rest assured, you don’t need to. Claap is there for you. Claap is an automatic notetaker that transcribes the whole interview for you. Claap writes down every answer the candidate gives to your questions. And it even summarizes them thanks to its powerful AI features. Claap makes everything easier!

Claap records your interviews

You already know Claap records what is said during your interviews. But it goes even further. Claap is a meeting recording tool and then, it records the video of your interviews. This can prove to be a lifesaver! Because a transcription, even with Claap’s AI summary features, isn’t always sufficient. Because you could have to give more than a transcription to justify a grade… Anyways, having the video recording is always a plus!

Claap finds your past interviews

What would be the point of recording your interviews if you couldn't find them back afterwards? Yeah I think the same. And Claap thinks the same as well. 

That’s why Claap stores your recordings in an awesome video library! And it doesn’t just store them. It allows you to find them in a second using powerful search features. Imagine if you had to remember the name of the candidate, the date of the interview…  Why not the candidate’s favorite color too? With Claap you can find your past interviews using ONE keyword. Isn’t it great?

Claap helps you make decisions

With Claap’s workspaces, you can easily share a clip from one of your interviews. And it can be more useful than you think.

 Imagine you’re hesitating between 2 grades for a specific answer given by your candidate. You can simply share the clip corresponding to that answer to your colleagues (or anyone actually) and ask for their opinion. Using the collaboration features of Claap, they can accurately react or comment on a very specific part of the video (they can even do it on a specific part of an image). Claap helps you be as objective as possible.

Now you know what Claap is capable of. It’s not just a simple assistance tool. It rethinks your interview process and makes it more efficient. Test it yourself here and witness the difference for yourself (free plan available with no credit card needed)!

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